The signs of the times are riddled with detours. The shift –from one iconic symbol to the next has become as rapid as the public’s clamor for download speed and as erratic as to how their message-carrying devices either rise to become fashionable or submit to obsolescence. The faces of politics and religion settle for stand-ins behind figures of power and spirituality, which the people themselves have chosen as avatars, evident in how one man’s silhouette can become more revealing than his actual portrait. In art and popular culture we have seen icons change from soup cans to sharks in formaldehyde to pictures sent via the Instagram, and how tastes in music have become as varied and changeable as a punk rock band’s chord progressions. And in as much as we have become accustomed to these shifts we might as well, in this age since Barthes made the argument, settle instead into a time of signs, more dynamic than ever and even more dominant, for long after they have dissolved past our view the song remains—that they are a-changin.’
In our present day and age, it appears that it is the signs and symbols that are thrust into perpetual motion, and it is we, who were supposed to weave our way through them that has been brought into a standstill, as spectators, as listeners. We have been led, into certain detours, and in dead ends. Once an iconic figure might find itself ablaze and burn its way into its own demise, while others endure, are re-fashioned, or leave trails like splashes in a lake or tracks in the dirt, and once the water becomes still and the dust settles we begin to dig and find what’s left out of an old picture, a familiar object or even a clichéd expression to re-examine: these are the reclaimed fossils of our existence.
“It's not about the idea of s ex, drugs and rock n' roll or being a fan boy. I'm more interested in putting a less chaotic line between the subculture scene and the idea of using reality as fictional tools, or vice versa.”—Costantino Zicarelli, b.1984, Manila, Philippines.
The signs and symbols of myth, memory, and iconoclasm itself—embody the persistence of a mutable iconography in the works ofCostantino Zicarelli, Ryan Villamael, and Jet Pascua, three Filipino artists represented by Silverlens Galleries who will be part of a show entitled |’relikt| at the space in Gillman Barracks, Singapore. Curated by Gary-Ross Pastrana, the show brings to our attention how these artists, who work in extremely varied forms, posses the tendencies to return to the emblematic, to the iconic, or, as Pastrana has observed, ‘to a system of iconographies that may be cultural, political, spiritual, or otherwise.’ But in this return to what is iconic and to symbolisms, Pastrana also sees the strong display of what is unrecoverable, as our system of signs has become more dynamic and convoluted than ever. Such is the case, the show answers to the idea of a relict, of what has survived from the signs of our times. In Relikt, their union has supplied us with an archive of vestiges, of traces from what has vanished, from what remains, and what is conjured to make up for what is missing. These are demonstrated in works which are as varied as drawings, cut paper, video and found objects.